Longhorns down Bobcats in close, defensive slugfest

Vanessa Le

There was an unusually low amount of scoring going on between the Longhorns and Bobcats at UFCU Disch-Falk Field Tuesday night.

The rivals’ two previous meetings ended in a Texas State double-digit walkoff victory and a 9-2 blowout win for Texas earlier this season. But this time around, the Longhorns only needed to score two runs to clinch a 2-0 shutout victory over the Bobcats.

“To get a shutout against a team that’s as good as Texas State — that’s a great accomplishment,” head coach David Pierce said.

Freshman pitcher Blair Henley played a big role in the Longhorns’ shutout, throwing five scoreless innings to earn his third win of the season.

However, Texas State couldn’t catch much of a break after Henley exited the mound. Junior Connor Mayes, sophomore Chase Shugart, redshirt sophomore Tyler Schimpf and sophomore Beau Ridgeway all threw scoreless outings during the big night for the Longhorn pitching staff. Ridgeway picked up his eighth save of the season as the Longhorns’ closer in the game.

“The pitchers did a phenomenal job,” freshman third baseman Ryan Reynolds said. “Blair was lights out — it’s just awesome how he just comes in there and throws strikes and has a great tempo. We were just ready to play behind him and make plays.”

The Longhorn pitchers kept Texas State’s batters silent all night, but the Bobcats didn’t lack scoring opportunities throughout the game. Texas State loaded the bases with no outs on two different occasions, but the Longhorns were able to fight back and escape from trouble both times.

“What I like seeing about that is that I thought we elevated our pitches and were able to continue to make quality pitches,” Pierce said. “I thought usually on the offensive side, you feel like you press and chase a little bit, but we made very quality pitches to have the opportunity to get out of it.”

Reynolds led the Longhorn offense with a three-hit night. The third baseman teed off on Bobcat pitchers with a pair of doubles, making him the only player to record extra-base hits in the game. Reynolds credited his productive night to the adjustments he made with Pierce during practice.

“I came off kind of a slow weekend and got with the coaches,” Reynolds said. “Coach Pierce came up and just told me not to swing as hard as I can — he actually came into the (batting) cages with us and was showing us how to do it … It was fun, it was awesome. He’s not as bad as you think — he can swing it.”

After coming out on top in the two teams’ last meeting of the season on Tuesday, Texas has successfully won the season series with a 2–1 record over the Bobcats.

The Longhorns picked up their 25th win of the season to match the amount of wins they had at the end of last year. Pierce attributes this overall improvement to the Longhorns’ discipline during mid-week games.

“If you look how tough our conference is and you look at the balance of our schedule, and now you look at the position we’re trying to create, it’s because of doing our job on Tuesday nights as the bottom line,” Pierce said. “I really commend the kids of the way they’ve approached
these games.”